When a small business advertising you want it to produce exceptional results and exceed all expectations. To do this you need to be aware of the pitfalls and understand that there are a large number of variables that need to be controlled in order to make for effective marketing messages. To that end we have put together an insider list of 11 secrets every small business owner must know 1. Beware of advertising Advertising can be dangerous, just as it can be great for your business, it can be bad for your business, but it needs to be done well. Before signing up for an advertising package, consider all the other marketing options available to your business, clearly identify what it is you’re trying to achieve and then make a more informed decision. Remember all good advertising starts with who you are talking to and what your message is, not the method you are going to use to tell people about your business. That is the last part of the puzzle. 2. A 12-month marketing activities plan is essential Just like using your GPS to guide you to a location a marketing plan is there to guide you and keep you on track. It is easy to loose focus and make decisions because something sounds good on an impulse only to find out in the long term it was not the short cut you thought it would be. And just like an old fashioned map a marketing plan does not help you if it is filed away out of site in a draw. It is something to consult any time you are making a marketing decision to make sure what you are considering fits to the opportunity, not the other way around. |
3. Make promises and keep them So obvious that it’s become a secret! What a great way to create word-of-mouth…and free! Don’t try and be clever and trick people, the long term strength of any business is repeat business, and people who feel ripped off don’t come back.
4. Make every dollar you spend accountable What is more important feeding your ego or your family. Sexy, expensive image-building campaigns might win you an award, but, they rarely put money in your bank or food on your table. So, drive your branding efforts with free PR in the early days and spend your money on measurable direct-response marketing that delivers dollars into your business bank account return for your marketing investment. Test and measure everything you do… everytime!
5. Understand how your customers would like to be treated Understand their values, needs and expectations. Your product or service are there to solve their problems, not the other way around. If you solve the problem just like McArthur they will return.
6. Realise that marketing isn’t the panacea for all business problems Marketing can do many things… but it cannot work miricles. As a small business owners you need to be very clear on what it is you expect from your marketing efforts. A great practice to get in the habit of is to ask yourself this… “By embarking on a particular marketing campaign what outcome am I looking for? How will I judge the success of my efforts?” Is it sales, customer enquiry, list-building, brand awareness? There are many outcomes marketing can produce…you just need to know which one(s) you’re wanting. Once you start doing this, you’ll be able to benchmark your ideas and see which ones work more effectively and why.
7. Avoid competing on price History shows that competing on price leads companies performing worse over time. Don’t train your customers to be price buyers. Competing on price forces marketing budgets to increase and margins to decrease. New companies are better off competing on service, quality or something that demonstrates good value to the potential buyer. Trading on price only is the road to ruin for most business. To do it successfully you need to have a business plan that supports this as the model, because selling on price isn’t a marketing strategy it is a business model. It is not something you can turn on and off at a whim.
8. Low prices aren’t a guarantee of sales success One of the most expensive myths in marketing is that lower price produces higher volume. That might be true for coal or gasoline, but not for most businesses. Lower price means, you have to sell more of the same product for a lower profit margin with the added expence of advertising. When you do the calculation how much more of the same item at the lower margin higher expense level do you have to achieve before you are better off?
9. Do less One of the most tempting aspects of marketing is the huge variety of different marketing tactics that you can toss into a marketing plan. It’s overwhelming for most business people trying to work out what to do on their own. Many people make the very understandable mistake of believing that more is better. But they’re wrong. You will be vastly more successful if you do less, but do them better. Pick 3-4 marketing tactics that you think are really going to be valued by your audience and drive the behaviour / action you’re looking for. Then, figure out how you can do them in an extraordinary way. Be consistency and be relevancy. Do less. But do them better, and measure the results so you can modify and improve what you do. Nothing will work and be successful forever.
10. We don’t like to be sold People want to be informed, we want to be educated. You’ll find your best customers are those you educate about your product or service and who then decide to purchase it because it is a good fit for them. Prospects who buy your product or service but are not educated about your offering will be disappointed. They will not be return customers. Worse, they will tell others how they got ’sold’ by you. In the Internet age, this can quickly be especially destructive to your business. People need to be educated about your product, in the buying process education gives them the intellectual justification that it is ok to make this purchase. If they buy on desire alone once the emotional response fades away they will not be able to back up their decision and feel foolish. 11. Invest time in your customers’ feedback Invest quality time in eliciting and responding to your customer’s feedback, even if it’s negative. It’s the secret to building a network of evangelists who keep on giving back to your business. Remember, repeat customers are important. It is 6 times easier to get a customer to buy from you again than it is to get a customer to buy from you the first time. Ask yourself when it comes to your business and its marketing and small business advertising:
Is targeting the right customers what you want to do? Do you want to save on your advertising by eliminating wastage? Do you want to have someone on your side working to help you with advertising? Do you want what the big guys have without the big price tag? If you answered yes to any of these questions let’s start by having a further chat to see whether you would benefit from our help. We help business just like yours every day. You can see why having a chat is worthwhile. Please have a look at our website www.infernopromotions.com.au it will give you an idea of the companies we already work with and an idea of what is possible when it comes to your business. You will also see that we practice what we preach, and have an auto responder set up on our site. At the very least sign up and we will send you some great free marketing ideas and information.
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